31 December 2013

Happy New Year

The aftermath of Christmas

Just off to the kitchen to create something new with left-over turkey. The price to pay for having got one of our sons to bring an extra large one from the UK in their suitcase!

25 December 2013

Christmas Lights

It's that time of year again, and I know I have blogged about this before, but it's only when it actually happens that I remember that I really must try to solve the problem.What am I on about? My tree lights! We have three separate sets on the tree in the house, one set on a plant arrangement I have made, one set in the window next to the front door, one set over the kitchen windows and three sets on the outside tree. As long as we leave them switched on there is no problem and the lights shine steady and still, but the indoor ones we turn off at night and every single time I switch them back on again they start in flashing mode. If you have ever seen a tree with three sets of lights all flashing in different sync. I can assure you that it is enough to send you to a lunatic asylum. I've tried counting the number of times I need to press the button in order to get them back into static mode, but it is different every time, and the one that really drives me mad is the one on slow fade, so that by the time you realize that it is fading you have already left the tree and gone upstairs to the kitchen. So if anyone does know how to adjust the little boxes so that the lights just shine - no flashes, twinkles, half on and half off rubbish - please post on The Corfu Grapevine. I will be forever in your debt.

Short, but very sweet

21st December. Winter Solstice and the shortest day.

Here in Corfu we are being treated to day after day of wonderful brightness.  The nights are cold, and there is frost and mist in the valleys in the morning, but the days are warm and almost hot if you sit in a sunny spot. Listening to the weather forecast on the radio where they report storms and severe weather conditions "throughout Greece" it is another of those occasions when we realize that Corfu, whilst being thoroughly Greek in most respects, is from time to time part of another, more western part of Europe.

12 December 2013

Optimism for Greek tourism and property

This is part of an article in 'A Place in the Sun' property magazine which links some interesting statistics on tourism, to the increase in prospective property buyers, although worth noting is their mention of a 31% reduction in 'mainstream real estate prices' which refers primarily to Athens - island and coastal properties have largely suffered much lower reductions.
'A boom in Greek tourism has led to an upsurge in Greek bargain-hunters, according to property industry sources. 
One of the biggest travel groups in the World, TUI, is set to bring an additional 300,000 tourists to Greece in 2014 compared with this year, exceeding two million visitors.

Tourism professionals are already talking about a new record of 18 million foreign visitors to Greece next year, provided no significant domestic or international developments have a negative impact on Greek tourism.

September and October 2013 also appear to be particularly good, in the wake of a record-setting summer. Some three million arrivals are expected by air in total for these two months.

While tourism booms, mainstream real estate prices in Greece have dropped to 31 per cent below their market peak.

This has led to an upsurge in bargain-hunters, report several sources.

According to the property portal Rightmove Overseas in its 2013 Consumer Survey, Greece is the third most popular destination for people buying to relocate abroad is Greece – not USA, Portugal, Australia or Canada.

Maybe less of a surprise bearing in mind the drop in property prices there, Greece is the fourth most popular place for those buying with investment the main priority – beating Italy, Turkey and Thailand.

In spite of the country’s economic difficulties and those of the eurozone, Greece and its islands offer sun, sea and sand and a unique charm.

Greece is also getting a lot of interest from non-Europeans seeking a fast-track route to EU residency.Greece is giving speedy residency to buyers of any property from just €250,000 ($329,075) and gave out its first property-tied residency to a Chinese man on 8 August 2013.

The cost of living in Greece is substantially lower than in Britain and there are many low-cost flights to the country. And Greece offers something for everyone, from party animals to nature-lovers to people who just want to sit and watch the sunset with a glass of ouzo.'